By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Mar 26, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Thinking of wearing flats this spring and summer? Well, fashion news flash: they’re out.

How about flip-flops? Nope; toss ‘em in the Goodwill bag.


Oh, please, please keep reading to discover a few fashion-forward 2011 spring and summer shoe options.

Of course, not everyone cares about the latest footwear trend, but if you do, Tracey Golden from Lela, 321 N. Broadway, and Kate Blake, owner of Shoo, 241 N. Broadway, have a few pointers for buying hip warmer-weather shoes.

According to Blake, the popular colors this season are neutrals like "nude" and light gray, along with brighter hues like coral reds, turquoise, kelly green, various shades of blue and soft yellow.

Golden agrees that the popular colors this season fall on both ends of the color spectrum. "Spring and summer shoes this year range from the bright and fun to the barely-there, skin-toned sophisticated sandal," she says.

In terms of style, both professional buyers agree that strappy is in, as well as shoes with a wedge, wooden or cork bottoms and perforated accents. Espadrilles are coveted this season and Blake reminds that boots with shorts and summer skirts or dresses are a good choice, too.

"Fiorentini + Baker boots never go out of style," she says.

When it comes to cost, prices vary greatly, from very affordable knock-offs at big box stores to boutique prices which don’t always break the bank but will cost more. Some shoppers buy one or two pair at a boutique and then supplement with cheaper pairs. If this is an attractive -- or financially necessary route -- both Blake and Golden have suggestions for the one pair you must have.

"If you are buying one pair, choose a pair that will update your look, which means stepping outside your fashion comfort zone," says Golden. "Find a shoe that you are excited to wear and that makes you feel fabulous when you put it on."

Blake has a specific designer suggestion if you’re going to buy a single pair for the season.

"Anything from Miss L Fire," says Blake. "The brand is out of London and very vintage inspired. Their shoes are very unique and comfortable and so well priced you will probably have to get more than one pair. I have a hard time choosing which two or three pair I want."

Blake also recommends sandals from Jeffrey Campbell’s "Zuma"($139);  Miz Mooz’s "Petra" ($129); J Shoes’ "Gladis" ($139); Bivel’s BV32120 ($159), Miss L-Fire’s "Tahiti" ($79) and United Nude’s "Mono Jane" ($109).

Just because you pick fashion, doesn’t mean you have to kick function to the curb. Both are possible, and not only in the form of a Birkenstock, either.

"I always pick shoes that are very different, yet have the comfort element," says Blake. "That way, I look and feel good at the same time."

"There are lovely shoes for every activity, so there is no need to wear your slippers in public," says Golden. "Make love to your feet with your shoes. Feet work hard and they deserve it."

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.